People Partners Foundation finds ally with After the Harvest, joins board of directors


People Partners Foundation supports After the Harvest in more ways than one

As a sponsor of the 2022 Amaizing Sweet Corn Glean-A-Thon & Festival, People Partners Foundation doubles down in its support of After the Harvest with new board member

When Rich and Annette Atwood launched People Partners Foundation in 2021 during the height of the global pandemic, they knew they wanted to find like-minded organizations that were passionate about serving their communities. 

“The whole idea was trying to figure out ways to help our communities in a number of different areas with our funding focuses, but really helping in a way that allows us to partner with other organizations – nonprofits, for-profits, or individuals – who are trying to bring good to their community,” Rich said. “Someone may have a great idea but can’t bring it fully to fruition because they need help fundraising or finding office space or sourcing people or maybe they just need counseling or accounting help. So we think about our network of consultants and other people we know that can bring helpful resources to these other organizations in a way that helps them pursue their mission, which benefits the entire community.”

Although Rich and Annette are based in Southern California, that didn’t stop them from forging a relationship with After the Harvest after they heard of our mission to eradicate food insecurity in the Kansas City metropolitan area. 

After an introduction facilitated by PPF Executive Director Debbie Fitzhugh, the organization’s initial support for ATH consisted of a $10,000 grant for our Fair Share Program. Soon after, PPF agreed to again support ATH and our 2022 Amaizing Sweet Corn Glean-A-Thon with a $2,500 sponsorship. 

“Our family practiced philanthropy in our own community and we do it very uniquely – similarly to PPF where we want to make a difference in our sphere,” Annette said. “When we’re made aware of a need, we address it. Often it’s anonymous or very low-key, but the flavor of PPF reflects our heart for reaching out into the community and helping people with great ideas, many of whom are already doing great work.”

One of the things that really attracted us to our initial support of ATH was how dollars donated to ATH, especially for the purposes of this farming program,  aren’t spent in a way that only impacts one person; it creates this chain of success,” Rich said. “By supporting the farmers, that helps them continue to be able to produce high quality, fresh food that can then be used in a community that doesn’t have access to high quality, fresh food. So if you lose the farmers, the community loses fresh food, and the people who need it the most who have the least access to it will never get it. It really has a daisy chain effect on the entire community by starting at the top with the farmer and having that work down to the ultimate consumer.”

The foundation’s involvement with ATH hasn’t stopped there; in May 2022, one of PPF’s board members, Ralph Santoro, also joined the ATH board, and he immediately got his hands dirty — literally. People Partners Foundation’s effort and participation as a sponsor and a volunteer team led by Ralph Santoro during our Glean-A-Thon didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, the PPF/Santoro team took home the award for the most pounds gleaned per team member on average. With only three team members, each person harvested an average of 286 pounds.

After the Harvest looks forward to Ralph Santoro’s leadership on our board of directors, as well as future potential opportunities to collaborate with PPF.